Your Favorite COB Snare

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I've been pouring through all the old threads on COB snares but decided to start this thread for fresh perspectives.

I'm not concerned as much with the best COB snare as much as what is your favorite COB snare and why.

Anybody playing the Gretsch USA G4160 5" X 14" snare I would especially appreciate your take on it.

Thanks in advance for your posts.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
I had the 6.5" version of that Gretsch snare. It sounded good, but I'm not a fan of the Lightning throw-off. Gretsch tends to use fasteners made of low grade metal and they easily strip or snap in half. I sold the drum after a year. If you get a Gretsch, be very careful when tightening the bolts that attach your wires, and also be sure to add some oil or grease to the tension bolts, which are way too dry out of the box (squeaking like crazy when adjusting tension).

I had a Ludwig chromed brass Supra with tube lugs and that drum really sounded nice. It was seamless, vs. the Gretsch being welded, but that wasn't a factor for me. I don't have that drum anymore either.

Since then, I've decided that brass shells just may not be for me. I currently have an aluminum snare, and two wood shell snares. I may get a bronze someday, but only if I trip over some surprise cash.
 

Freewill3

Member
The Gretsch G4160 is a fantastic snare! Don't own one but have played the vintage and late models, they all sound great. You may want to check out the Gretsch brushed brass snares too, to my ears, they're slightly warmer than other brands I've tried and are available in 5.5" & 6.5". These have triple flanged hoops instead of the diecast and cover all the tuning ranges well. One of my faves is the Tama Stewart Copland snare. It has a slightly thicker 1.5" shell instead of the standard 1.0" and has a diecast batter hoop with a triple flange reso hoop. Although I'm a huge Stewart fan, I didn't buy it to "sound like him". It really has a full bodied sound and produces sensitivity as well as the high end crack you'd expect. There's always the vintage Slingerland and Rogers brass snares floating out there that can be found at great prices. If you get a chance, the brass INDe snares are wonderful, check out there website. You can select your size and type of hoops too. There are a couple sound files on YouTube as well. Good luck with your search!
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
My 1967 Rogers Powertone is my favorite, but any 1960s Rogers Powertone snare would work for me.

Why? Sensitive, articulate, LOUD when it needs to be, great rim shot and overall tone.

I know for a fact that it will cut through just about anything at any volume. I have had drummers come up a ask what snare drum I am using because if that.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I have the Brooklyn 5x14 COB snare, which I believe uses the exact same shell as the USA Custom, the only difference being the hoops. I haven't had any issues with it, and it does sound very good.

One thing though, and it may be due to the shallower 5" depth, but its sound is VERY dependent on the room it's in. Much more so than any other snare I've owned. Recent example: a couple weeks ago I was in a larger rehearsal room where the drums were on a riser. The snare sounded HUGE, and I ended up cranking up the batter a little to give it some more definition. A week later, I was in a much smaller rehearsal room with no riser, and it was producing an abundance of higher overtones from cranking the head up the previous time. I should have cranked it back down, but we were auditioning a bassist and only playing a few songs, so I didn't bother. And while it still sounded good, it was nowhere near as rich and meaty as it sounded the previous time.

On my other Brooklyn NOB snare that I keep in my rehearsal room, I added lug locks to keep everything dialed in. But due to the massive difference in sound from room to room, I won't add lug locks to my 5x14. It seems that I always need to adjust the head tension for each room.

That said, it is a very nice sounding snare. Once you get it dialed into the room, it will sound massive.
 

T.Underhill

Pioneer Member
6.5x14 Slingerland Buddy Rich TDR w/ SS hoops. I love the tuning range, sensitivity, volume, throw-off and muffler action, and the look. Love love love.
 

markdrum

Silver Member
I have to agree with Gruntersdad. The Gretsch Brooklyn hammered COB is a great drum! They tune up beautifully and sound great out front..
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I've been pouring through all the old threads on COB snares but decided to start this thread for fresh perspectives.

I'm not concerned as much with the best COB snare as much as what is your favorite COB snare and why.

Anybody playing the Gretsch USA G4160 5" X 14" snare I would especially appreciate your take on it.

Thanks in advance for your posts.
I have the Gretsch USA 6.5 x 14 snare and I really like it. It gives me that projective "ping", but also gives that phat thick sound too. I got a chance to compare it to a new Pearl Sensitone brass, and they were really close, but the Gretsch has this "thing" to it. It speaks really well, and can do all tunings for me. I've also owned Black Beauties and the Stewart Copeland in the past, but in 5x14 models. Back then I wasn't sure I was into phat and throaty, but those did give me that high-pitched crack that was prevalent in my playing then. This Gretsch seems to give me both ends now.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I have the G4160 5x14 and it sounds great. The rimshot has this great CHOP! sound that I love. This is the only brass snare I've ever owned so I can't make comparisons but it's really a joy to play. I like the lightning throw and the snap-in key holder is a nice touch. I found mine (barely) used so that was also nice. For me it's a keeper!
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
My favorite: Joyful Noise "Standard" model 5x14
Crispy at any level. Extremely wide dynamic range.
Sound is warm and full but never harsh, even at tinnitus inducing levels.
Also..Terrific heirloom build-quality combined with first rate customer service from the builder himself.

p.s. Another option would be the great sounding and venerable Ludwig COB
I have no experience with the Gretsch offering I'm sorry to say.
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Curious Doug...does it have to be chrome over brass and why? Would a non-chromed brass shell work too?

What is it that the chrome does to change the sound? I really have no idea. If I took a brass shell and chromed it...would it sound different than if I black nickeled the same shell?

Can anyone describe the differences in sound?
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Curious Doug...does it have to be chrome over brass and why? Would a non-chromed brass shell work too?
No it doesn't necessarily have to be COB. I'm looking for a 5" X 14" brass snare to fill a void and was taking stock of some options.
Jean-Paul Gaster (Clutch) plays a Gretsch COB that has caught my ear.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Always lusted after the early models of the Premier 2000, circa 1967. They switched over to Alum shortly after.
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
I love the 80s Pearl Jupiter cob snares. They are really low priced and a workhorse for gigging and recording

The old rogers cob snares are pretty special to my ear though
 

Dave_G

Member
I have a Pearl B4514 (Stewart Copeland's Snare of Mysterious Provenance) in the 5x14 with a die-cast batter hoop. I always loved Copeland's snare sound as a young drummer: tight but not choked. I also owned a Slingerland Sound King 6.5X14 that was nice. COB snares in general are in my wheelhouse.
 
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